New Orleans Saints Continue Cutting Salary, and More NFC South News

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterFebruary 20, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 07: Johnny Patrick #32 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that they had released tight end David Thomas and cornerback Johnny Patrick. The move created $2.219 million in cap space for the team to work with, according to ESPN, and was another step for the Saints to get to where they need to be financially.

Linebacker Curtis Lofton restructured his contract on Feb. 15, according to the Times-Picayune, and was able to save the Saints $4 million towards the salary cap. The Times-Picayune also reported that New Orleans will ask linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith to restructure as well.

After the transaction cutting Thomas and Patrick, New Orleans is still just over $15.5 million over the 2013 salary-cap figure. More cuts and restructuring is sure to come.


Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Cox, over at, turned the spotlight on Alabama running back Eddie Lacy as a potential first-round pick for the Falcons. I am of the opinion that Lacy will not be around for the Falcons at No. 30, and I truly believe it would be a mistake for Atlanta to take a running back in the first round with so many other glaring needs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks whether the Falcons should draft running back Marcus Lattimore from South Carolina. He’s a high-risk player with high-reward possibilities if healthy, but his late second-round, or early third-round slot might be too soon for the Falcons.


Carolina Panthers

Head coach Ron Rivera won’t talk about how the Panthers plan to shed about $10 million in salary to get below the cap by March 12, but the Charlotte Observer reports that Rivera thinks the team is very close making the moves.

Elliot Harrison of the NFL Network believes that the Panthers may look at wide receivers like Keenan Allen from Cal or Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee with their first pick in the draft at No. 14.


New Orleans Saints

One of the ways New Orleans could get under the salary cap in 2013 is to restructure the deal quarterback Drew Brees inked just last offseason. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBC Sports thinks doing so may create huge problems for the back end of Brees’ contract.

The Times-Picayune looks at 10 players the Saints should look at the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBC Sports believes Tampa Bay should look at quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL draft in April. While not a terrible idea (I’m not nearly as down on Josh Freeman as most), I hope it’s a late-round pick and not something near the top of the draft. The Buccaneers have holes to fill right now.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik is in search of “legitimate competition at every position,” and offseason moves by the team will reflect that attitude.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand. 

 Knox Bardeen is the NFC South lead writer for Bleacher Report and the author of “100 Things Falcons Fans Should Know & Do Before they Die.” Be sure to follow Knox on Twitter.